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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

New Covid testing processes begin May 13th

NSW Health advises that: COVID-19 PCR testing in NSW has changed.

They are asking those that feel they have COVID-19 symptoms to do a rapid antigen test (RAT). If you have COVID-19 symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever) and:

  • your RAT is positive, stay home and follow the advice for people testing positive to COVID-19. It is recommended you register your test result with Service NSW. Registering your result helps you access medical support from NSW Health, including antiviral medicines if you are eligible. It also assists NSW Health to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

  • your RAT is negative, and you are at higher risk of severe illness, ask your doctor if you should have a PCR test. This will give a more accurate result.

  • your RAT is negative, and you are not at higher risk of severe illness, consider doing another RAT 24 hours later. Stay home until your symptoms have settled. If you are worried, talk to your doctor.

They advise that RATs are available for free at Service NSW service centres, mobile service centres and recovery centres. If you need a free RAT kit because you think you might have Covid you might want to think through visiting a busy Service NSW office to line up and receive one. Having Covid delivers a range of intensities. Some are mild and others react more-so. NSW Health advises that some people are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 which means they are more likely to get very sick and may need hospital care. They then suggest that if you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, that you contact your doctor for testing advice. The difficulty in the South East is that it is near impossible to gain a doctor's appointment at the spur of the moment and many have to wait up to three weeks due to the doctor shortages we are experiencing.

NSW Health advises "If you can't contact your doctor, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or use healthdirect’s online Service Finder to find a GP near you". In making any appointment online you are asked if you have Covid. Why? Because the surgeries don't require masks to be worn by patients and staff and presenting with Covid brings risks. The more cautious State provided free drive-through PCR clinics have now closed. The only way to get a PCR test is if you can secure a doctors appointment and then, if your doctor recommends a COVID-19 PCR test, they will give you a pathology referral form for a free COVID-19 PCR test. While the test is free you will be billed for the doctor's appointment.

The PCR referral form, if you get one, will have a private pathology provider location to visit so you can get tested. If you have a positive PCR test result, you likely have COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should stay home and follow the advice for people testing positive to COVID-19.

  • If you have a negative PCR test result, you are unlikely to have COVID-19 but should stay home until you are well. If you were recently exposed to a person with COVID-19, you should continue to follow the advice for people exposed to COVID-19 as you may still be developing the infection.

Again caution will be required as these providers don't require masks to be worn by patients and staff, and presenting with potential Covid brings risks.

It is understood that the process for a PCR test by a pathology service is: 1. Get referral emailed following phone consult with GP.

2. Go to path lab wearing N95 - they give you a self PCR test kit

3. You retreat to your home/car with door shut and test yourself

4. You drop the completed test off to path lab wearing an N95 More information at: What COVID-19 test should I do?


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NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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